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Development of sol-gel inkjet inks for printing on glass substrates for architectural applications (TIGJET)
Start date: 10 Apr 2009, End date: 09 Apr 2011 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"Industrial sol-gel inkjet inks for printing on glass substrates for architectural applications should be developed. There is a strong worldwide market demand for individual custom made decorative glass surfaces for exterior architectural applications. One of the main challenges today in the glass industry is the adhesion and exterior durability of coatings and printings on glass. The only fully commercial route today available is screen printing inorganic inks resulting in a very limited colour range and high application cost. Inkjet printing would be an ideal technology achieving economic and flexible custom made designs. However, today inkjet printing is mainly used in graphic arts applications with limited durability. First inkjet applications using ceramic inks made out of fine grinded frits and inorganic pigments appeared on the market but seem to be inferior, difficult to use, limited in color space, print quality and very limited in ink stability. Two different routes of inkjet printing on glass should be evaluated. Specialized stable sol-gel inkjet inks with superior adhesion to glass and excellent exterior durability should be developed in close cooperation with a major inkjet printer manufacturer and an applicator. Route 1: Stable inorganic-organic hybrid inks compositions based on low-temperature UV curable silanes allowing incorporation of organic and inorganic pigments should be developed. Superior adhesion to glass and exterior durability are the main features of printings on the basis of these inks. Route 2. Purely inorganic water based stable sol-gel inkjet inks compositions based on silica, titania, alumina or mixtures of above, as matrix forming agents with inorganic pigments as colour agents shall be developed. Special attention will be paid to the development of sol-gel inks that produce colour on thermal treatment of prints, avoiding issues arising during pigments stabilization in the compositions as well as printheads blocking."
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